We hear that a lot around here, mostly during football season. I live in the USA in the state of Tennessee -- a state which is proud of the heritage of their famous volunteers and as such named the University of Tennessee football team The Volunteers. The "Go Vols!" thing is everywhere; I find myself saying it too. I know this message is in the Christianity IN the Kitchen part of the newsletter but this is about taking our Christianity, talents, and gifts OUT of the kitchen and taking it to the streets.
My name is Leo Griego. I worship at The Psalmist Christian Fellowship. I work at the Nashville Rescue Mission. These things say something about me but are not who I am. Who I am is a child of God who came to that realization by the Love of my Father personified in Jesus the Christ. I belong to the One who died and rose again. My testimony? Simple...I said...YES. And meant it...Finally.
It's amazing what happens when you say YES. It can be (and often is) life changing. Do the words "I do" ring a bell? When we enter into a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, we are walking on new ground -- the new creation that we are. And when your true soul mate asks or tells us to do something, we do our best to comply, especially if we want peace in our house...Amen?
All this is to say God tells us in the Word what to do and just how to do it. In this message I am encouraging you to stay in the Word and listen to what Jesus said to Peter after He rose and after Peter had denied Him. (How many times have we denied Him?) Jesus said in the 21st chapter of John, "feed my sheep." He was referring to the lost sheep and I, like you, am a feeder...sometimes called a Chef or Cook. I told God YES and meant it. God brought me here. I feed the lost sheep but I can't do it alone. Thank God through Christ I can for Christ provides me with all the help I need -- VOLUNTEERS. If you need to know what God wants of you, ask Him and seek His character in the Word. In Matthew 25:35-40, you will find the answer.
I now work at a rescue mission by God having opened the door in an amazing way---and I even get paid! I am blessed to see miracles and touch lives each and every day. I see the miracle of the harvest and the miracle of the feeding every day. I see people called by God to come for an hour, or two, or three...so many---thousands per year and each one leaves blessed and feeling great because they went out of their way, their day, and their life to do as God asks. I've seen secular and non-secular groups; entire restaurant crews come in, and prepare a meal or join forces with us preparing part of a meal. I've seen Jews, Hindus, and Agnostics come and serve and everyone was touched. Almost every person said they had fun working and sweating. (You all know how hot a kitchen and serving line can get.) Fun? They are touched by the joy of the Lord at work in this place. They are not all Christians but come at the call of service to others. God is strong here and the call is strong in that God calls ALL who come here -- those to eat and sleep and hear the Word of God preached, those who work here and get paid, those who come to make a choice for Jesus and change their lives, and those who come and volunteer...all are building riches in heaven. We have men and women who work a shift with us as part of their life recovery as a major part of their decision for Christ. As employees of God, they are stockpiling treasure safe from moths' rust and burglars -- and talk about a retirement plan! Wow! I joyfully tell them I'll talk to the Boss about that raise for them. I tell them I will pray for them.
I am just encouraging you to take your talents and share them with those who REALLY appreciate them in more ways than you will ever know -- the needy in your sphere of influence. Find someone or an organization that needs help...it doesn't have to be Christian. They will know YOU are Christians by your love. The persons you serve, your Sisters and Brothers out there doing it day in and day out, and the God who makes it all happen will see it also. The Door has always been there. You are welcome. I pray you will take that extra step and set your feet for a while on an amazing path that God has made. Show God who you are in Christ and show those whom you serve how amazing God can be. God gives you "4 Star Treatment" and now it's your turn.
"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now..." Philippians 1:4-5
As we begin this New Year, let's support those with whom we are partnered in missions and outreach. If we are evangelists or missionaries by calling, then let's make a commitment to pray a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for our supporting partners. If we are members of a supporting congregation, or fellowship, then let's give thanks for being able to support those who share the Gospel everywhere and those who work among different cultures and in different locations in our own country. To share in God's work with God's people is truly a great blessing and privilege -- as is fellowshipping and sharing with you.
If God is speaking to your heart about these things, and you need
somebody to talk with, please don't hesitate to e-mail us about your need and
somebody from the Fellowship will contact you as soon as possible. If you
have a prayer request or would like to start a theological discussion on this or
any other topic please feel free to post it in our Message Boards.
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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV